Best Maui Dive Operators and Shops – Who to Dive With on Maui, Hawaii?

Maui is blessed with an incredible coastline, warm, calm clear waters can be found on some part of the island most days. These waters are filled with a great variety of spectacular life. On top of this, it is located within striking distance of some incredible dive locations on it’s neighboring islands. With a Steady flow of tourist running through the Islands, resorts have ensured the Dive industry has flourished on the Island.

Naturally, this means there are a large number of Dive operators that have sprung up to meet the demand. This is good for everyone, as it means the quality stays high and the price’s stay low. However, knowing who the Best Maui Dive Operators are can prove tricky! This is where our guide on who to dive with on Maui, Hawaii comes in.

Best Maui Dive Operators
First Cathedral Lanai

We take a look at all of Maui’s best Dive Shops and Tour Operators to show you who to dive with. We take a look at the costs and what dives they offer. If you want to know more at the dive sites on offer take a look at out Maui Dive spots Guide here.

Maui Diving – What to Expect

Diving in Maui is generally Excellent. The waters are generally clear with Visibility from 30-60ft and mostly calm, with only moderate currents. Many Bays and walls provide shelter from the rougher waters and mean diving can be very relaxed.

Match this to abundant Marine life and you can expect some very good diving indeed. Maui’s Coral is not the best in the world. The Island Chain is so remote that only certain Corals have actually made it out to colonise the islands. These are sturdy hardy corals that can survive the crossing and can takes Hawaii’s Brutal winter storms. While abundant the coral lacks the color of some tropical reefs.

Fish Rock Lanai Maui
Fish Rock Lanai

This is made up for by abundant reef fish of stunning color, variety, and abundance. Some sites it is literally Raining fish. There are also plenty of exotic pelagic species such as Manta Rays, Trevally, Dolphins, Tuna, Barracuda, Sharks, and Humpback Whales. Day Octopus, Moray Eels and Eagle rays are also regular sights.

Every winter Nov-Apr the Humpback Whales arrive for their winter holidays. Basking in Maui’s warm Channel waters after a winter in the Arctic feeding. They spend their trip breeding and playing in the water and on most dives their song can be heard echoing through the water. On certain sites, you may even be lucky enough to encounter one.

And of course, the star of the show is Maui’s incredible Honu. Giant Green Sea Turtles that make their home on Maui’s shores in HUGE numbers. Most dives will encounter several turtles. They are so frequent regular divers soon overlook them but the first few encounters are really magical.

Weather

Napili Shoreline
Molokai from Napili Bay

Water temps are good. In winter they dip only as low as 75°F (24°C) and top out at 86°F (30°C). This makes for pleasant diving year round. Match this with similarly pleasant year-round air temps and there is never a reason not to hit the water. in fact, winter diving is some of the best and most popular due to the arrival of the Humpback Whales.

Maui’s Climate is very stable and the island enjoys a lot of days of calm and serene weather days. But its location in the middle of the Pacific can mean bad weather moves in. High Winds and Large swells do not make for safe diving and there is a chance your trip will be called off. This can be deeply disappointing but most dive centers will allow you to reschedule, and will also appreciate you are probably on vacation and this is not always possible. In which case, if THEY cancel the trip, you will get a refund.

Shore Diving

Many of Maui’s great dive sites are accessible via a shore dive. Here you will meet up at the Dive center, discuss the day then head out to the dive site before entering via the beach and diving the site via a surface swim.

These dives are typically laid back, intimate affairs with small groups. They are universally Cheaper too. However, they are limiting in where the dives can take place. They need to be in reach with a short surface swim and have decent water access. They are usually a bit of a faff too. But they suit people looking for relaxed diving in small groups. They are also great for beginners looking to get into diving.

Boat Dives

ready to go

We feel the best diving on Maui is done from a boat. From a boat, you have access to so many more dive opportunities. While some Shore dives can feel like glorified snorkel’s the range and access a boat provides means you really can get to the best Maui has to offer.

Everything is more in one place too and things just feel more organized and efficient. Most boat Dives are 2+ Tank trips and offer lunch and snacks along with full Valet Service. This makes diving effortless. It does come at a price though. But competition means the prices are at least low “for Hawaii”

Dive Centre Locations?

Lahaina Divers Harbour Slip

There are two main locations for Diving in Maui and this can have a big say in which company you choose. It is often best to pick a Dive Center more local to where you are staying to avoid a long drive every time you are Diving.

In West Maui, Lahaina is the Main location for Dive Centers. Boat Dives will leave from the Habor or Mala Boat Ramp. Shore dives will obviously be from the location of the dive but their center will usually be in Lahaina while a few are based in Kaanapali.

South Maui and the majority are based in Kihei, Boat dives depart from Kihei Boat Ramp or from Maalaea Habor. While shore dives will be based on the dive site.

We list the Location of every Tour Operator and State where they depart their tours from.

Lahaina Dive Centers

Lahaina Divers

  • LocationLahaina – Lahaina Habour
  • Dive Types – Full Valet Boat Dives
  • Average Cost – $149-219 per Two Tank Trip
  • Rental Gear Cost – $36 per Charter
  • Dives Available – Maui Coast, Molokini/Backwall, Lanai, Lanai Drift, Molokai

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Lahaina Divers Rental Gear

We won’t make any secret of the fact that When we dive in Maui we use Lahaina Divers. There are several reasons we chose them over the competition but the main one is they just dive at the best sites. They are the only operator to head to Molokai, and offer the Lanai Drift Dive. They do regular Lanai trips and offer a great Backwall experience. This is enough for us, but we love the way they operate as well.

They are one of the longest-running outfits on Maui and this really shows they have their operation down to a tee and running like a well-oiled machine. Every eventuality is considered and everything runs ultra smooth. The light breakfast consisting of muffin cake and coffee is perfect, the lunch of huge Deli sandwiches, Maui Chips, and fresh fruit is perfect for the post-dive break. And fresh baked cookies are as great as fresh baked cookies sound!

Their 2 Boats the Dauntless and Dominion are well equipped and perfect for dive operations. They are large boats and ride the surf well. Which is just as well as they do come across some pretty wild condition on their channel crossings! Their crews run these boats and dive operation in a fairly military Manor. We like this, as there is no doubt what you need to be doing at any one time, but for some it comes across a little unfriendly and cold, even rude. It is just their way but if this is likely to be a turn off consider going elsewhere.

For us, the only real downside is their popularity. The Big boats can take 24 people and this is a lot of divers on any one site. While they will be broken into groups of <8 (+guide) it is still a busy dive vessel. The top decks are fantastic places to chill out though between dives and crossings, but can get a bit wet and wild at times!

Every Guide we have had has been excellent and offers a thorough, Safety focused briefing before each dive, and have conducted the dives in a safe and customer-led way. Dive times have been very long and we regularly leave the water voluntarily rather than due to air/Deco/being ordered out.

There Gear is always excellent. Probably the best rental gear we have used (we have no room in our cases for dive gear!) and is replaced yearly. The Last dive out we had practically new BCD’s.

Overall there is not a lot we don’t like and they are always our first port of call. And if you want the Advanced special dives the area offers they are the ONLY choice.

Extended Horizons

  • LocationLahaina – Mala Boat Ramp
  • Dive Types – Full Valet Boat Dives, Shore Diving
  • Average Cost – $159-179 per Two Tank Boat Trip
  • Rental Gear Cost – $35 per Charter
  • Dives Available – Maui Coast, Carthaginian, Lanai

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Extended Horizons operates out of Lahaina and their boat launches from the Mala Boat ramp. Extended Horizons are another long-running company who have been operating out of Lahaina for decades. While they may lack the “Top Gun” Dives of Lahaina Divers they make up for this with a much smaller friendlier operation.

The cover all the best Maui Ocean dives but the highlight is their daily Lanai trips. They take small groups across the channel for some fantastic and intermate dives on some of the best dive sites of Lanai.

Extended Horizons are a great choice if you want to mix shore diving with some great Boat Diving as they offer some great shore destinations on top of their excellent boat trips

In2Scuba Diving Maui

  • LocationAirport Beach
  • Dive Types – Beginner Shore Dives
  • Average Cost – $99 Introductory Diver Course – $215 3-tank Certified Shore Dives
  • Rental Gear Cost – $Included in Tour Price
  • Dives Available – Maui Coast – Mala Pier, Airport Beach, Black Rock, Night Dives

We came to Maui as Experienced and Certified Divers so we don’t have that much experience with the “beginner” Dive outfits. However, one operation really rises to the surface in this regard. In2Scuba. We never hear a bad thing said about them and every customer we have heard of has nothing but praise for them.

They specialize in Shore diving and particularly first-timers and people learning to dive. But their small friendly groups are great for anyone wanting a relaxed easy dive at one of West Maui’s shoreline reefs.

This is a far cry from the all-action dives offered by the big-budget operators but with the number of positive reviews, these guys get if you are just starting out or looking for some relaxed dives you will not be disappointed.

Banyan Tree Divers

  • Location Lahaina
  • Dive Types – Full Valet Boat Dives
  • Average Cost – $99 Introductory Dive – $79 Per Dive Certified
  • Rental Gear Cost – $41 per Charter
  • Dives Available – Maui Coast – Mala Pier, Airport Beach, Black Rock, Night Dives

Another Small Dive Operator doing business out of Lahaina. Very Similar to In2Scuba. They keep groups very small and focus on great shore diving and beginner groups. Like In2Scuba they also receive endless Rave Reviews, but again we don’t have a lot of personal experience with them as we are off chasing the Adventure dives…

Kihei Dive Centers

Mike Severns Diving

  • LocationKihei Boat Ramp
  • Dive Types – Educational Boat Dives
  • Average Cost – $139 per Two Tank Boat Trip
  • Rental Gear Cost – $20 per Charter
  • Dives Available – Molokini and South Maui Sites

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We have heard a lot of “bluffs” from “Marine Biologists” aboard Certain Snorkel and Dive trips, Guide’s never like to say “I don’t know” and knowing the ignorance of the clients tend to just make something up. This will not happen aboard Mike Severns, and not because they will admit to not knowing, but because they will know.

Pauline Fiene leads the pack when it comes to Maui Ocean knowledge and not only do they know all about Maui’s ocean life, they know how to find it. They offer dive trips tailored to your needs and offer some pretty “out there” sites not offered by other companies (Mud Diving?)

They only limitation is they stick to south Maui and Molokini. Which is not a bad thing but limits options a bit. On the plus side, they know their back yard unlike anyone else. Small Friendly groups will suit newer divers, but you will need certification, and people with dives in the 100’s will still love this team as their knowledge and understanding of the marine environment is infectious.

It’s a choice between tearing off and doing the Ultra Experience Dives or actually learning something about the marine environment.

Maui Dive Shop

  • LocationMaalaea Harbor
  • Dive Types – Full Valet Boat Diving
  • Average Cost – $159 – $199 per Two Tank Boat Trip
  • Rental Gear Cost – $49 per Charter
  • Dives Available – Maui Coast, Molokini + Backwall, Lanai

Maui Dive Shop is South Maui’s BIG operator. Maka Koa is their specialist dive boat that takes up to 24 divers out to many of the best sites in Maui. They Offer trips to Molokini, The Backwall, Lanai along with the more usual Maui Coast Dives. One particularly good dive is the Manta Ray Dive. This takes you to the Manta Cleaning station at mile Marker 13 where Manta Sitings are Guaranteed (Free 2 Tank dive if not!).

Maui Dive Shop is a full Valet service meaning you will get breakfast, lunch, and snacks while aboard and everything will be done for you. They even offer complimentary shuttles from the resort areas. If you want a top quality Dive with zero hassle or fuss, just turn up and dive. then this is the South Maui operator for you.

Pro Diver

  • LocationKihei – Kihei Boat Ramp
  • Dive Types – Training, Shore and Boat Dives
  • Average Cost – $149 per Two Tank Boat Trip
  • Rental Gear Cost – $10 per Charter
  • Dives Available – South Maui Shore + Molokini Backwall

A Smaller company offering Boat dives to the Backwall only with a second stop at one of south Maui’s top sites. Pro Divers boat is a smaller craft than most allowing for Fewer divers and a more intermate group.

They also offer guided shore dives and have their own pool for dive training. They are a great option for anyone wanting to learn to dive and progress to the Backwall in one trip.

NeverDry

  • LocationKihei – Kihei Boat Ramp
  • Dive Types – Training, Shore and Boat Dives
  • Average Cost – $139 2 Tank introductory Dive – $99 2 Tank Shore Dive
  • Rental Gear Cost – $included
  • Dives Available – South Maui Shore dives

NeverDry is our recommendation for anyone looking to take their first steps into diving. They offer a full PADI Open Water Course for $449 or a $139 Two Tank Intro dive which is great value. Their shore Diving is also a snip at $99 for two dives for certified divers.

They are a pretty new company who are getting rave reviews and offer laid back shore diving in really small groups.

Now you have your preferred Operator sorted it’s time to decide which sites you want to Dive, there is a lot of choice on Maui so check out our full guide below:

Best Maui Dive Sites – Full Guide

Maui Reef Fish Guide

Have Your Say

Who do You Dive with on Maui? Do you prefer the big operators or the smaller more specialist dive companies? Have you had a particularly good or bad experience with any operator? Let us know in the comments below. If you have any questions about any of the operators on Maui just leave a comment and we will be happy to answer.

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